FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

GAVI Alliance joins with UNICEF and WHO to offer rotavirus vaccine in Cameroon

The GAVI Alliance said on Friday that it has joined with UNICEF and the World Health Organization to offer rotavirus vaccines as part of routine immunization programs in Cameroon.

Rotavirus is the most common cause of fatal diarrhea and kills 6,000 children under five years of age in Cameroon every year.

GAVI Alliance said adding the vaccine with have a tremendous impact on children's health. WHO said the vaccine will be part of a comprehensive approach to prevent and control the illness.

"We know that by giving infants their doses of rotavirus vaccine early in life protect them against severe and fatal diarrhea, underscoring the incredible potential for the vaccine to improve child health," Charlotte Faty Ndiaye, a WHO Representative in Cameroon, said. "Achieving high vaccination coverage together with long-term sustainability of new vaccines introduced into national immunization programs are crucial to sustain the gains in reducing child mortality."

UNICEF Representative Félicité Tchibindat said administering vaccinations to children is an effective way to prevent disease and should be used in addition to practicing good hygiene to protect against diarrhea.

"Vaccination is a children's right and it is important for parents to get their children vaccinated with the rotavirus vaccine in addition to the other 10 vaccines to ensure the survival and full growth of children," Tchibindat said.

GAVI Alliance said Cameroon is the 21st country to integrate rotavirus vaccines with its support.